Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (February 8, 1591 December 22, 1666), best known as Guercino, or il Guercino, was an Italian Baroque painter and draftsman from the region of Emilia, and active in Rome and Bologna. The vigorous naturalism of his early manner is in contrast to the classical equilibrium of his later works. His many drawings are noted for their luminosity and lively style.
Was born in Cento, a village between Bologna and Ferrara. At an early age he acquired the nickname Guercino (Italian for "squinter") because he was cross-eyed. Mainly self-taught, at the age of 16, he worked as apprentice in the shop of Benedetto Gennari, a painter of the Bolognese School. By 1615, he moved to Bologna, where his work was praised by Ludovico Carracci.
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